Ask the Expert: Everything You Need to Know about Painting

Kitchen and bathroom renovations can be one of the most extensive undertakings for a homeowner. A home remodeling project may leave you with a lot of questions about planning, materials, and design.  While your own research on reputable websites will inspire your design and answer some of your remodeling questions, nothing beats working with an experienced kitchen and bath design professional.

There are many facets to the home remodeling process, from design through to the finishing touches.  To help you prepare for a kitchen renovation or bathroom remodel, we sat down with painter, Chris Fahy, who offered some insight into the painting process. Chris has more than 25 years of industry experience and has worked with Lang’s Kitchen & Bath since 2004.

1.    How should I prepare the walls and other areas prior to painting?

Usually we do all the prep work. We move all the furniture, decorative objects, art, etc. out of the room and cover any furnishings too large to remove. From there, we will prep the walls including: priming all bare drywall, spackle, remove damaged caulk from the trim, and make any necessary repairs (nail pops, drywall damage, etc.) prior to painting.

2.    Is there a specific type of paint that you recommend for kitchens? Bathrooms? Why?

We use Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams brand paints. They are the most mildew and mold resistant, level out nicely, and offer a quality finish.

3.    How do you blend open concept layouts with different paint colors?

This is a question better left to the kitchen and bath designers, but I’d recommend keeping colors in the same family when it comes to open concept floor plans. You don’t want the rooms to clash! 

4.    What are your thoughts on sticking to neutrals vs. bold colors? Are there spaces in the home you feel should only ever be painted in neutral tones?

It really depends on the customers’ style. Neutrals and grays have been increasingly popular over the past five years, where previously people chose bold color palettes. But again, these are questions best left to the interior designers!

5.    Do you use different finishes on different areas?

Matte finishes are quite popular on the walls. It is less shiny than a glossy paint and diffuses light in a range of angles. I recommend using glossy paints on the trim to add a bit of sheen; and to only use flat paint on the ceilings, because it does not reflect light directly, allowing imperfections in walls and ceilings to remain hidden.

6.    Is there a certain type of brushes/rollers that you recommend? Is it better to go cheap and throw away or invest in better brushes that you take care of?

You definitely need to be sure you’re using the right roller with the right paint. Particular brands, such as Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams, typically suggest different roller sizes for different paints to ensure it goes on smoothly and leaves the proper amount of texture. Using a roller that is too large will leave a heavy texture on the walls.

In terms of brushes, we use all top quality brushes, because they leave a better finish on the walls and ceilings.

7.    Do you have any recommendations to minimize expenses for people on a budget?

It’s best not to cut corners, but you can save on a lower quality ceiling paint. Additionally, if we have left over products, like caulk or spackle, we can save you money there.

8.    What are the no-no’s when it comes to painting a kitchen or bathroom remodel?

The biggest no-no is skipping on prep work. Painting is 90% prep. It’s essential to the quality and life of the paint that spackled areas are primed, damaged caulk is cut out and replaced, and any necessary repairs are made to the walls. Don’t skimp on covering up the floors and furnishings, either. It will cost a lot of time and money to remove paint from your favorite couch!

9.    How long does it typically take to complete a job and is it usually done over multiple visits? 

It depends on the job. A simple bathroom remodel paint job can take approximately two days, whereas a kitchen renovation could take as few as three days or up to a week, depending on the complexity of the job.

10.  What other factors, such as architectural features, impact the timeframe for a job? 

A kitchen extending into family room will definitely increase the timeframe, because it takes longer to prep. Trim takes a lot of time to prep and the more ornate, the more time it takes. Painting chair rails and detailed crown molding can also impact the schedule.

Lang’s Kitchen and Bath is a premier design and remodeling firm offering kitchen and bath design solutions and installation services that enhance your lifestyle. Visit our kitchen design and bathroom renovation galleries or stop by our Newtown, PA showroom to find inspiring ideas for your next project!